Tag Archives: Don Bosco

Miraculous ecape for Salesian Fr CT Xavier of Kathihar mission

CT Xavier sumoKATHIHAR — Salesian Fr. CT Xavier, the Parish Priest of Katihar (Bihar) writes about the accident he met with the Jeep on 30th January morning and the miraculous escape he had: On Friday, even though not my day, I volunteered to go to MC Sisters, as I had to do the bandaging of my leg. As I came out, I found the gates were not opened fully. The vehicle was almost touching the gates. Then I got a warning, I must go slowly. I was slower than other days, and the road was with less traffic.

Before I reached the ‘accident prone’ area, where we go very slowly, Sumo took a right turn and went other side of the road. I tried to turn the steering and it was not working. I just prayed that the Jubilee should not be affected with what is going to happen. I did not think of breaking as I was trying to turn the steering. Within a second, the vehicle banked on a tree and stopped. Actually it hit on a Phone line stone and due to loose mud near by, slushy with rain water of previous day, the vehicle turned towards the tree and a drain tank. I must have been thrown to the door side with the first hit, thus saving my thighs and hip. By the time, Sumo hit the tree, the steering had stuck the seat.

???????????????????????????????I got up and put my hand out calling the vehicles passing by. No one stopped. I had lost my voice because of the cold and cough.. After some time some people were on their routine walk, and I waved my hands, putting out my head. The ladies called two men and they came and pulled me out of the vehicle. As my head was full of glass pieces, they removed some of
them. The ladies continuously praised God, saying ‘your God has saved you’.

Since I had taken the mobile, I rang up to the MC sisters’ driver. Then I rang up to my driver and then to MC sisters. MC sisters’ driver came immediately and told me to escape from the site before the police comes.

???????????????????????????????Then all the sisters and other working girls rushed and took me to the convent by Auto.

I had a little scratch on the left leg and terrible pain on the left hip. They called our family doctor and he found everything normal. He wrote for an x-ray of the hip to find out if the bones were broken or not. The x-ray report showed that no bones have been broken.

I get a little pain when I get up after sitting for some time or when I bent down. Today I am getting a little pain on the upper right hand, due to the hit on the door.

All those who saw the Sumo, thanked God for saving my life. I found a lot of support and concern from everyone that have helped me to continue work without much rest. Anyway the jubilee celebrations went on well. More about the Jubilee in my next letter.
St. Michael and Don Bosco saved me.

???????????????????????????????The Provincial Secretary Fr Mathew George adds: Fr P.J. Abraham and myself had gone to see the accident site, 31st January 2015. The Sumo which was heading towards the drain tank in the pit down, hit the telephone stone, turned round and hit the tree in the front right side and the back right side hit the drain tank. You can see that the accident prone turn is far ahead where there is a Hanuman temple, where the Hindu devotees pray and cross the bridge.
The celebrations on 31st January in the parish (bicentenary, 75 years of the Church in Katihar and 25 years of Salesian Presence) with some 4000 people.


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Rotarians, Don Bosco Open New “Child Friendly Guwahati” Centre

cfgGUWAHATI, (C.M. Paul) — The Rotary Club of Guwahati inaugurated a new centre for “Child Friendly Guwahati,” (CFG) Saturday 14th September. The new centre is located at Multi-Service Centre, Rotary Lane, beside Ashoka Brahmaputra Hotel, on MG Road, Uzanbazar, Guwahati.

Some 600 children from the various CFG centres in and around Guwahati arrived at Don Bosco Headquarters at Pan Bazaar by 2.30 pm where the children had music, dance, Mind Power Expert and mouth watering snacks at the green dream garden.

After photo session they moved to the venue where about 150 adults including Rotarians (30), CFG staff (25), Volunteers (20) and Guests and invitees (70) awaited them.

The inaugural programe started off with a prayer song entitled: There’s a Candle’ performed by Montfort Inclusive School Children.

Chancellor of DownTownUniversity and MD of Down Town Hospital assured free health check up and treatment for all CFG Health Card holders. They also assured free education in the para medical course and other courses in the University, and the participation of Social Work sudents in the CFG programme, as well as outings and meals to all CFG children visiting the university campus.

The CFG Chairman Fr V.M. Thomas quoted the UN Commission for Human Rights saying that the progress of nations is measured not by the strength of the army nor by the buildings, or the scientific advancement and much less by its nuclear weaponry but by the care, protection and development given to its most vulnerable population – children and women.

The centre for the visually impaired run by Venerini Sisters Jyoti Niketan children had a thematic dance and a well choreographed dance entitled “Freedom” from hunger, violence, hatred, corruption by DB Institute of Management Kharguli students. Pranab Jyoti Neog, Xavier’s Foundation had by talk on ‘Public Provisioning for Children.’

The chief guest at the function Shri. P.P. Varma, IAS, Chief Secretary of the State Govt. Assam, was joined by several guests of honour including Shri Rajnish Kumar, Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Guwahati; Shri Manish Thakur, IAS, Mission Director, NRHM, Assam; Dr. N.N. Dutta, Past District Governor, Rotary Clubs of Guwahati; and Rtn. Kedia, Past District Governor, Rotary Clubs of Guwahati.

Among other dignitaries were Salesian provincial of Guwahati Fr. V.M. Thomas, the CFG Chairperson, and Rtn. Parthapratim Phukan, President, Rotary Club of Guwahati.

While Tinat A. Masoodwas was the compere for the programme, the CFG – Project Manager Br. Prasad Kalaparthy, SDB coordinated the event.

After the formal inaugural function children had a gala DJ evening followed by dinner.

‘Child Friendly Guwahati’ is a project intiative of Don Bosco Society  in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Guwahati, Church bodies of Guwahati, like-minded NGOs, State Government allied departments and other Civi Society groups of Guwahati, to create a movement in the city of Guwahati to champion the cause of its less privileged children, especially those out of schooling. It visualizes to reach out to over 10,000 out of school children in the city, to mainstream them back into formal or vocational schools, and make every citizen of the city a friend to every child in need of Care and Protection.

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Tejprasarini marks 20 years with book & media fair, bags medal

Provincial hands over medal to Tej director

Provincial hands over medal to Tej director

MUMBAI, (C.M. Paul) –  Tejprasarini (light diffuser) a Don Bosco Mumbai communication institution marked 20 years of multimedia production with a first ever 4-day Book & Media Fair. Award winning author and journalist Mr Naresh Fernandes inaugurated the fair on 29 November. Major events included book and multimedia exhibits, a seminar on digital publishing for students from publishing schools, a meeting of Catholic Publishers, as well as release of books and CDs. There were also a variety of learning workshops for school students.

“This first ever fair by Don Bosco brought together some 20 leading publishers and media houses, both print and digital, attracting both students and parents,” said event coordinator and Tejprasarini director Fr Joaquim Fernandes.

On Thursday (29 November) evening celebrations began with concelebrated Eucharist in the Don Bosco crypt at Matunga Marian shrine presided over by Rector and Editor of Don Bosco Madonna magazine Fr Ian Doulton. It was followed by high tea and the inauguration of the fair.

On Friday (30 November), two parallel day-long programs were scheduled for students and publishers. While school students had art & craft, book reading, phonetic classes, talent parade, magic shows and various competitions, a national meeting of publishers and college students was held in collaboration with Tejprasarini and Catholic Bishops Conference of India office of Social Communications (CBCI-OSC), New Delhi.

Saturday, 1st December, Tejprasarini honoured its founder director Fr Peter Gonsalves, currently professor at Salesian university Rome marking 25 years of his priestly ministry with the release of a CD containing 70 (seventy) of his inspirational songs in MP3 format. The CD is aptly named, The Peter Gonsalves Collection – Lyrical Food for the Soul.

On Sunday (2nd December) The Salesian provincial of Mumbai released Dr Nelson Facao SDB’s critical edition and English translation of the book Kristapurana an epic poem on the life of Jesus Christ written in a mix of Marathi  and  Konkani  by Fr.Thomas Stephens, S.J. (1549–1619). Provincial Fr Michael Fernandes surprised the Tejprasarini team presenting the director with Don Bosco Medal of Honour.

The idea of ‘Tej-prasarini’ first began in the villages of drought-stricken Ahmednagar, about 250 kms from Mumbai, recording rural folk music on a portable tape recorder 30 years ago.

A member of the World Association of Catholic Communication Signis India and Indian Catholic Press Association, Tej-Prasarini began in 1992 as a modest audio-cassette initiative in response to the catechetical needs of a rural Christian population in Pune, central Maharashtra.

In 1993 it was re-located at the Salesian Provincial House at Matunga, Mumbai the media capital of India. Today the building in which Tej-Prasarini is housed has a media centre where productions on catechetical, educational and development themes are available for purchase.

In 2001, the demand for youth-related audio-video material led to the setting up of a digital audio and video recording studio, named Tej-Kiran (Ray of Light) which has produced some 30 audio CDs, as well as songs, jingles, music albums, talks, interviews, and dubbing. The video studio facilitated scripting, shooting, editing documentaries, corporate films, social awareness ads, interviews, music videos, event coverage, voice dubbing and FCP editing. Besides production of 17 VCD/DVD titles, Tej conducts job oriented courses for college students.

Besides publishing 46 booksTej partnered withDon Bosco Communications India and CBCI-OSC in publishing a three volume series entitled Communications for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) for students of philosophy, theology and those in the final stages of religious formation.

Leadership at Tej-Prasarini has changed hands three times beginning with the founder-director Fr. Peter Gonsalves, SDB. Fr. Darryl D’Souza, SDB, succeeded him in April 2001 followed by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, SDB in May 2006.

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Mathai condemns Sangma for cosying up to Modi, RSS

Dr Abraham Mathai

MUMBAI, (Abraham Mathai), 7th July 2012 — Christian community condemns Sangma for cosing up to Narendra Modi and exonerating RSS/VHP. Such lack of integrity and values disqualifies him for the highest office.
It is a rather disturbing and distressing situation for a person of the caliber and stature of P.A. Sangma to stoop so low by compromising his principles to warm up to Narendra Modi the main perpetrator of the 2002 Gujarat genocide in lieu of his support for his candidature for Presidency.
To add insult to injury, last week he absolved and exonerated the VHP/RSS from the Orissa pogroms of 2008 where Catholic priests were killed brutally, nuns raped before being murdered and burned, Church property destroyed and vandalized. Does this suggest that Sangma is undergoing a spell of amnesia which has conveniently obliterated from his mind these horrendous accounts that shocked civilized humanity to the core?
Such acts are a total betrayal to the very principles and tenets of Christianity and a severe and degrading insult to the martyrs who have laid down their very dear lives for the faith in Christ.
Cosing up to Modi is a clear sign that Sangma has lost his moral bearing hence entrusting him with the Presidency which is the highest office in the land is absolutely dangerous as he is proving to be a person who cannot be relied upon as a last resort in times of crisis.
The BJP has specialized in the art of tokenism whereby the victim minority is often rewarded with the Presidency after a pogrom…. a Muslim Abdul Kalam after 2002 pogrom and a Christian Sangma after Orissa and Karnataka attacks.
In view of the above, it is imperative for the Christian community to write to the Pope through his representative in New Delhi to ex communicate Sangma since he has proven that he does not have the community interests at heart but would rather fraternize with the communal elements who are maliciously targeting the community.
Dr. Abraham Mathai
President – Indian Christian Voice
President – Harmony Foundation
Ex-Vice Chairman – State Minorities Commission
Mini Rose Apts, CST Road, Kalina, Santacruz East, Mumbai 400 098


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Don Bosco Relic Visit to Kolkata Soon

L to R: Mr Rajesh Gupta, Fr Jose Pampadiyil and Fr Siby Vadakel at Calcutta Press Club, July 12.

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Kolkata media was briefed on Don Bosco Relic visit to Kolkata at a Press Conference held at the Calcutta Press Club, 12 July. Over 40 media persons and four TV channels including Government channel Doordarshan covered the event.

Mr Barry Antunis, teacher of DB Park Circus compered the event which opened with a 10 minute film on the relic tour. It was followed by a panel presentation on behalf of Salesians, Salesin Schools and Don Bosco Alumni of Kolkata province.

“The relic pilgrimage is a moment of grace for us his sons and daughters,” said Salesin Vice-provincial Fr Jose Pampadiyil addressing media personnel.

“His relic visit reminds us of the single minded and dedicated life Don Bosco lived and the sacred principles that guided his work. Hence, this pilgrim journey of the relic aims at creating spiritual awareness and renewal,” explained the vice-provincial.

A section of the media personnel at Don Bosco Relic Visit Press Conference at Calcutta Press Club.

Addressing the press, vice-provincial reinstated the commitment of the entire Don Bosco family to “accompany young people through their formative years, facing the problems of unemployment, drug culture, internet culture, and permissive culture of our contemporary times.”

“It is a privileged moment for us educators, to re-commit ourselves to Don Bosco’s time tested educational principles of reason, religion and loving kindness,” said principal of Don Bosco School Park Circus, Fr Siby Vadakel.

Don Bosco Alumni World Council Member Mr Rajesh Gupta added, “his relic comes to remind us of all what we were taught at school and, the values inculcated in us. Now in our turn we pledge to pass it on.”

On behalf of DB Alumni, Mr Gupta vouched, “I can boldly state that there are many Don Bosco’s today, in the person of his sons and daughters who continue his legacy with selfless service.”

He further asserted that DB Alumni is the largest worldwide alumni association which has a charter from its founder body. Celebrating 100 years of DB Alumni in India, former national Alumni president Mr Gupta said, ‘we are planning to claim it with Guinness Book of World Records.”

The Relic of St John Bosco arrives in Kolkata, the city of his dreams, 15 -19 July from Ashalayam (home for street children) Howrah. It marks 150 years of the founding of the Salesian Society and preparations for bi-centenary of his birth in 2015. The relic arrived in Kolkata province via Guwahati province at Jaigaon (Assam-Bengal-Bhutan border) on 29 June, 2011.

The Relic will stay four days in the city and have four stops – Auxilium Parish Gobra (15 – 16, 18 July), Christ the King Church (17 July morning) and Don Bosco School Park Circus (17 – 18 July morning), and Provincial House & Nitika, Tengra (18 July noon to 19 July).

A public function will be held at 3.00 pm on Sunday, 17 July at Don Bosco School Park Circus during which eminent citizens of Kolkata will pay homage to Don Bosco. The relic will be in Kolkata province (Bengal, Bihar & Sikkim) from 29 June till 19 July, 2011.

The sacred remains of the saint popularly known as Don Bosco (don means “father or priest” in Italian) founder of the Salesian Family (Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Cooperators & Alumni) started its 130 country pilgrimage from Valdocco (Turin, northwest Italy) on 31 January 2009. The relic arrived in Imphal on 29th April 2011, and will visit all ten Indian Salesian provinces till 30 November 2011.

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First Ever Film on “The Hand of Don Bosco” Planned in India

DB statue in front of his Youth centre in Valdoco, Turin.

AGARTALA (C.M. Paul) – The Salesians of northeast India  provinces  (Guwahati and Dimapur) have come up with an ambitious project in preparation for the Don Bosco Relics India Tour scheduled for May-November 2011. While director of Don Bosco Youth Centre Itanagar (Arunachal) Fr Cyriac of Dimapur province came up with the concept, Fr. Joseph Pulinthanath of Guwahati province worked on it.  The casket containing Don Bosco Relics starts its India tour from Dimapur province, 1 May 2011.
“Besides dubbing the 25 minute first ever Don Bosco Flash Film into 30 languages of northeast India (as of 8 Feb 2011) we are now venturing into another relic-related ‘ambitious’ idea,” says 2010 National Film Award winner director Fr Joseph Pulinthanath of Agartala (Tripura).

“I am making a docu-meditation on “the Hand of Don Bosco,” says Guwahati province priest film director of award winning Kokborok feature films Mathia and Yarwng.
Commenting on the relic of DB’s right hand encased in the casket going around the world, Pulinthanath asks, “Why not make a film on the HAND of DB – what it did during his lifetime and what the hand of DB through the hands of his Salesians continue to do in the world, particularly in this part of India… Blessing, praying, caring, healing, working, building, comforting, supporting etc.”

Joseph Pulinthanath SDB

As the concept and script is being finalized, Pulinthanath is involving cine professionals into the making of the never before attempted film meditation.
He plans to solicit collaboration from other provinces, for specific visuals and footage for the film project and dubbing in vernacular languages.
Sponsors and partners for this project are welcome to contact Fr Joseph Pulinthanath SDB at  jpulinsdb@gmail.com or call +91.9436126649


Filed under Don Bosco, Don Bosco casket, Don Bosco Film Festival, Hand of Don Bosco, Joseph Pulinthanath

Asian Salesians at World Congress of Catholic Press

L to R = Frs. Plathottam, Fidel, Paul, Paradon and Lobo (missing). Photo by Carol Andrade.

ROME – Five Asian Salesians are participating at the World Congress of the Catholic Press (WCCP) organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (PCCS) in Rome, 4-7 October. Three are from India and one each from Thailand and the Philippines.
While three Salesians are country delegates, two are doctoral students from the Salesian University Rome’s Social Communications faculty.
Among the delegates Fr Plathottam is Media Commission Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India New Delhi, while Fr Fidel and Fr Paradon are from the Philippines and Thailand respectively.
The doctoral students at the WCCP are Frs. Anthony Lobo from Mumbai and C.M. Paul from Kolkata.
Some six Bishops and 220 media professionals (some of them priests) from 89 countries are participating.

Fr Plathottam with Indian delegates Carol Andrade Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier Mumbai and Jomy Thomas of Malayala Manorama New Delhi.

They will explore issues around how to be effectively present in this digital era, how to report on controversy, whether to give voice to dissent and above all how to rediscover the essential mission of the press to be of service to the Church and to the wider community.
This is the fourth congress that PCCS president Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli has called together in four years of taking office.
“While the first international study was on identity and mission of the social communications faculties of higher learning, the second was on the identity and mission of Catholic radio, and the third congress was a Communications Seminar for worldwide Bishops,” archbishop Celli recalls.
The current congress topics include “Future of the Press: Challenges and Opportunities” and “The Catholic Press: Global Challenges, Expectations and Hopes.”
Taking head on the hot potato issue of controversies and giving voice for dissent in Church media, some participants ask: How is Catholic Press contributing to the Public Forum in what he calls to the “diaconate of culture”?
What are the new opportunities offered to Catholic Press in the internet based new media age? asks the archbishop who has widely travelled discussing and promoting new communications strategies for Catholic Press and the Internet.

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